Getting a coupon is better than getting laid, according to a study released by Dr. Paul J. Zak, a neuroeconomics* professor at Claremont Graduate University.
This is science, people.**
Here’s how getting a percentage off is better than just getting off:
Getting a coupon raises oxytocin levels higher than getting lucky.
Higher levels of oxytocin (a hormone released when kissing and cuddling) are known to increase trust between people, encourage monogamy, and bring families closer together. Dipping into discounts does this better than doing the deed. We can reduce the divorce rate and keep families together if only we get more coupons out there! Think of the children!
BOGO saves money while bonking is costly.
Coupons save money. They don’t cost you anything to acquire, and they keep hand-earned dollars in your pocket when you do make a purchase. Sex, on the other hand, can be very costly. Safe sex includes the use of prophylactics such as birth control or condoms; unprotected nookie may result in an expensive STD treatment or a pregnancy – it costs at least $3,000 to give birth in the US if everything goes perfectly. Forget about asking if the delivery room doctor accepts your insurance – find out if they take coupons!
Good deals decrease stress while getting busy ramps it up.
Based on the study, snagging a discount also reduces stress as measured by heart and breathing rates and sweaty palms. All of those things are elevated when hitting a home run. Considering stress is a leading cause of long-term sick leave, drug abuse for recovering addicts, and high blood pressure, it appears that coupons don’t just save you money; they may very well save your life.
Making Coupons Sexy
Science may tell us that coupons trump the disappearing cane trick, but it’s a hard sell (no pun intended) to the world at large. How can you make coupons sexy?
Add an expiration date to create urgency.
What happens to the coupon that can be used forever? It will be used never. The coupon that’s expiring next week is put into a wallet or purse for immediate use. While it may seem counter-intuitive to limit the redemption for the potential consumer, it keeps the purchase an urgent priority.
Use images to keep interest.
Even if the coupon is never used, the brand impressions gained from a full color logo means you won’t be wasting money on a text-heavy slip of paper that gets tossed. Your logo should be accompanied by a picture of the product or service being offered; images offer a quick dose of desire if text gets skipped over. This is the most potent way to sell the benefit of using the coupon; you’re helping the customer imagine what it would be like to own the product or participate in the service. A squeaky clean car interior does a lot more than a description of detailing services.
Provide a giveaway with the coupon.
The fundamental social law of reciprocity states that those who receive gifts feel obligated to return the favor somehow. In case the coupon itself isn’t enough to make potential customers lust after your brand, adding a giveaway such as a custom pen or personalized magnet may boost the incentive for redemption. Giveaways themselves can even be customized to be “permanent” coupons. Every time a customer shows off his or her personalized key chain with your company logo, you can knock 5% off their bill.
How do you feel about coupons? Do they get you all hot and bothered, or are they more trouble than they’re worth? How do you make sure your coupons have a high redemption rate? Sound off in the comments below!
Until next time, keep expanding your brand!
*This is, apparently, a thing.
**Still no cure for cancer.